Usually, I am a pretty organized person. I devised a household bookkeeping method years ago that , if kept up with, made tax time much less of a headache. I should mention that my beloved was happy to let me handle filing our joint return. I always laughed when I told him that he only cared about the yellow sticky note I gave him every year showing how much of a refund we were getting. I will miss that ritual this year. When I had to take over my Mom's financials in 2013, the same year my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, I put her affairs into a similar setup. I should mention that I retired again in October 2013, so I could be with my husband as much as possible but also so I could start caregiving for my Mom. She didn't need to be driving anymore and wasn't keeping up with her paperwork, I already had POA enabling me to step up pretty easily. The first year was rough, her affairs were in such a state and her so-called accountant had really screwed up the previous year's taxes.
But....last April, when my husband's CT scan came back with "misty mesentery" (I had never heard that term before), the world sort of fell apart for us. Doctor visits, procedures, starting chemo again and dealing with an aging parent at the same time reduced me to paying bills on the fly. I knew in my mind when something was due so I would grab a check and an envelope on the way out the door or jump online to pay a bill in the early morning hours. The paperwork, however, then got tossed in a big basket. My excel sheets lay dormant. Filing, what a joke!!
Now, it is time to pay the piper. The mounds of forms and paperwork that I had to slog through after my husband died seemed insurmountable. I could only sit at the desk for so long before it started really getting to me and I had to get up and do something else. But bits and chunks of time and effort later, I started to see some movement in the sludge of bureaucratic red tape. I finally got the necessary paperwork filled out, scanned, and sent. I found myself some health insurance and started paying off my husband's final expenses. The mountains of receipts that remained, however, seemed to be hopelessly tangled.
Not exactly happy to say but I am getting through it and starting to see a time when I will get caught up and feel this heavy stone of necessary process lift. One day at a time, one bundle of papers sorted at a time, at least I am starting to see the surface of my desk again.